Memantine (Namenda) Review: Uses, Benefits, Effects

Memantine (Namenda) is a medication cum nootropic often prescribed to patients diagnosed with Alzheimer's or OCD. While the nootropic effects are not pronounced, the medicational aspect is well researched and back. Read more to find out about Mamantine!

As you age, you become more susceptible to age-related cognitive decline, which also includes being diagnosed with neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, etc. 

This largely happens due to the change in levels of neurotransmitters, such as Acetylcholine, Glutamate, etc. 

The prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the elderly has grown considerably while there has been no cure as of now.

Only, for this reason, scientific research is trying hard to develop a breakthrough treatment that can manage, if not treated, the latter condition. 

While we did talk in the last article about how research suggests that DMAE may prove beneficial in treating Alzheimer’s, Memantine (Namenda) seems to do even better. 

With that being said, Memantine (Namenda) review is our topic today. 

I will make sure to list down everything you need to know about Memantine so that you can make the decision for yourself! 

What is Memantine (Namenda)?

Memantine, also known under the drug name Namenda, is a powerful nootropic that was first created in 1968 and is used as a prescription drug in the U.S. and Europe for the treatment of moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Many drugs and supplements that have shown efficacy against AD have also been found to promote cognitive benefits for the younger, healthier population.

There is a lot of research when it comes to using Memantine for Alzheimer’s disease and ADHD, with small studies showing benefits for a wide variety of disorders that are linked to glutamate activity in the brain. 

And, only, for this reason, Mamentine is among the top prescription drugs in the United States. 

As for nootropic benefits, there are not many studies, so user reviews can help to shed light on its effects.

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How Does it Work?

Glutamate is an excitatory chemical that is used for communication between nerve cells.

Memantine works by blocking the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors in the brain, reducing excessive glutamate activity that has been tied to Alzheimer’s disease, OCD, and many other conditions (2).

It still allows normal glutamate function, it just stops excessive glutamate activity that is associated with damage to brain cells.

While the conventional medications prescribed for Alzheimer’s disease are known to inhibit the acetylcholinesterase, Memantine follows a rather different mechanism of action. 

Memantine Benefits

As a nootropic, users have reported benefits of this drug as follows:

  • Relieves anxiety
  • Helps with OCD
  • Enhances focus and ADHD symptoms
  • Promotes a positive mood

As a nootropic, neurohackers use Namenda to help promote a positive mood, reduce anxiety, boost concentration, and relieve symptoms of ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression. While some will use it for memory, that is not a very common use for this nootropic.

Treating Alzheimer’s and Associated Dementia 

When it comes to cognitive benefits, Memantine is best known for helping to improve the cognitive deficits caused by Alzheimer’s disease, mainly by helping reduce the associated memory and learning impairment. 

These benefits are so pronounced that it is the only drug known to help reduce clinical deterioration in those with moderate-to-severe AD (3). 

This drug may help to reduce memory decline with age, particularly in those with existing conditions such as dementia (4).

Improves Focus and Helps with ADHD

In one study on children diagnosed with ADHD, it was found that both 10 mg/day and 20 mg/day of Memantine led to improvements in ADHD symptoms (5). This included an improved ability to focus and concentrate as well as a decrease in hyperactivity and impulsivity. These benefits were dose-dependent, with significantly better response in the 20 mg/day group.

Neurohackers often report an improved ability to focus when taking this nootropic, although studies have not been conducted on either adult with ADHD or healthy adults.

Even with the lack of studies, many adults suffering from ADHD still turn to this drug due to the limited effectiveness of available prescriptions and the side effects that come from substances like Adderall.

Anxiolytic Effects 

One of the cognitive benefits seen in younger adults is the anxiolytic effect.

In a study on 15 participants suffering from anxiety, it was found that 10 weeks of administering 5 and 20 mg/day of Memantine resulted in a statistically significant reduction in anxiety symptoms as compared to before starting therapy (6). 40% of these patients achieved remission of their anxiety.

Improving Sleep

In the human study that found this drug to help reduce anxiety, participants were also found to experience better quality sleep when treated daily with Memantine. (6)

Relieve from Depression

There have been numerous studies supporting the benefit of this drug for those suffering from depression. In one study, it was found that major depressive symptoms began improving in less than one week, with maximal improvement by the end of the study at 12 weeks. (7)

As many antidepressants come with dangerous side effects such as suicidal thoughts, this nootropic may offer a safer alternative.

Reduces Headaches and Migraines

If you are someone who suffers from frequent headaches or migraines, you know how debilitating these conditions can be when it comes to making the most out of your day and achieving your goals.

Studies have found this drug to help reduce the frequency of treatment-resistant cluster headaches and migraines.

In one study of sixty patients, migraine frequency was found to be reduced by 3.4 migraines each month, an impressive and statistically significant result when compared to placebo.

Improved OCD symptoms 

In one double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled human study of 40 adults suffering from OCD, it was found that memantine, when used in conjunction with the prescription drugs already taken by the patients, led to a statistical improvement in OCD symptoms in comparison to the prescription drugs alone (8).

Stabilizing Bipolar Disorder

Very promising results have been found in studies of people suffering from bipolar disorder. Improvements were found in both mood stabilization and reduced manic events. 

Is Memantine Legal?

Memantine is not a controlled substance FDA approved drug and is commonly prescribed to treat moderate to severe symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). 

Reports suggest that it is quite commonly prescribed as a glutamate antagonist to manage the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. 

Forms of Memantine 

Memantine or Namenda comes either as tablets, capsules or in the form of an oral solution. 

Depending on your preferred form of intake, you can choose either of the available forms of the drug. 

Memantine Dosage

When starting to supplement with this nootropic, it is especially important to start low and work your way up. 

The dosage of Memantine also seems to depend on the purpose of your intake. 

A typical dose for nootropic use is around 2.5-5 mg/day.

If you are looking to treat a specific condition, such as ADHD or Alzheimer’s disease, you may find more luck with higher doses.

The typical dosage for ADHD is closer to 20 mg/day, which was shown in one study on ADHD in children to be more effective than 10 mg/day for symptom relief. 

Make sure to not cross 20 mg/day of dose as the risk of experiencing side effects may increase.  

Memantine Side Effects

With all good things comes at a cost, the nootropic community tends to assume that this drug comes with a high risk of side effects.

While user reviews appear to support this theory, the vast majority of studies have found treatment with Memantine to be generally well-tolerated, with very few patients experiencing adverse effects.

The mild to more adverse side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Irritability
  • Hallucinations
  • Fatigue
  • Increased libido
  • Constipation
  • Allergic reactions 
  • Inflammatory reactions 

Most of these adverse effects seem to disappear after some initial period of consumption.  

In the nootropic community, people seem to either love this drug or hate it. Many find its impact on hard-to-treat conditions like ADHD and depression well worth the risk of side effects, while others prefer to use something with a more conservative safety profile.

Memantine Safety and Interactions 

In the nootropic community, people seem to either love this drug or hate it. Many find its impact on hard-to-treat conditions like ADHD and depression well worth the risk of side effects, while others prefer to use something with a more conservative safety profile.

Research suggests that Memantine might interact with medications used to treat glaucoma, Parkinson’s, Anesthesia, Cough, etc. 

Who Shouldn’t Use Memantine? 

Anyone diagnosed with hepatic and renal diseases should avoid using Memantine as it may not react well enough. 

Perhaps pregnant women and women who are breastfeeding should also avoid using Memantine as it may also lead to serious side effects. 

Memantine Reviews & User Experiences

After looking at the scientific evidence, it is time to read some of the anecdotal evidence and see if both of them are back to each other. 

u/AhStro says, 

“Right out of the gate I’ll say that my experience has been overwhelmingly positive. That being established, I did experience some acute brain fog as was expected…

The most noticeable effect from memantine is that I don’t feel anywhere near as burnt-out or deflated on a day-to-day basis…”

One of the anonymous Reddit users said, 

“I’ve been taking memantine for 9 months now, recently dropped down to 15mg BID. My life is wonderful now. My OCD is under control, I am happy, confident, and less anxious, and my memory is sharper than ever. I am very pleased with the memantine. I get it prescribed from my pdoc and it is the only thing that has ever helped me.”

Realfrkshww says, 

“I’m on day two of Memantine-Richter. My mood is up, things really do seem more interesting and exciting.”

Another user with the username u/socialIT gave a breakdown of the effects he felt in his 1 month of Memantine. He said, 

“First 2 weeks were incredible. Relief of anhedonia, a total reversal of moderate sexual dysfunction(felt like I was 13 again), lot of stimulation, less sleep (~5 hrs/night), and increased focus. Also anxiety relief. Dose: ~3-5mg…

The next 2 weeks were not very special. Still experienced jitters and mild stimulation, but no longer very beneficial. Jaw tension and TMJ-like symptoms becoming a problem. Noticed dissociation more, and dramatic headspace effects, such as totally questioning a lot of my routines and habits. Anxiety returned. Dose: ~5-12mg

The last few days were awful. Experienced a horrible migraine which took me out of commission for a whole day, then headaches the last two days. Haven’t taken a dose since Sunday because of the headaches.”

Therefore, it seems that Memantine generally offers benefits to users with an extremely less risk of adverse effects. 

Where To Buy Memantine?

This becomes a pretty difficult choice for customers as choosing the right vendor offering the right product and quality services may be a bit daunting. 

When I was looking for online stores offering Memantine, I also didn’t come across any brand that I would personally use or recommend. This is largely because Memantine is a prescription drug so finding it openly in stores is a tough pathway!

Therefore, if you know any trusted stores or vendors, I would highly recommend you make your purchase. 

Memantine vs Other Compounds 

While Memantine may seem like a prospective treatment for certain neurological disorders, the nootropic benefits don’t seem to be much! 

Memantine vs Donepezil

Both the drugs seem to follow a different pathway. Donepezil acts as an enzyme blocker and works to regulate the level of neurotransmitters in the body. 

Although both drugs are often prescribed to manage the symptoms related to Alzheimer’s disease, such as dementia, research suggests that Donepezil may be beneficial in treating mild forms of AD while Memantine is more effective against severe AD. 

Nonetheless, it is worth noting that neither will cure the condition. You will only experience an improvement in symptoms. 

Is Memantine Legit?

Memantine is not your typical nootropic. It works differently from most of the nootropics on the market, and the majority of benefits seem to help those that are suffering from conditions such as stress, depression, Alzheimer’s, OCD, etc.

Some people have found luck using this drug as a treatment for ADHD. There are even some doctors that have prescribed it for these purposes.

While you can use it as prescription medicine, using it purely for nootropic effects may not be a fair choice!  

What does the drug memantine do?

Memantine is used to treat moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease. Memantine is not a cure for Alzheimer’s disease but it can help people with the disease. Memantine will not cure Alzheimer’s disease, and it will not stop the disease from getting worse.

Does memantine help you sleep?

It is well known that memantine acts as a blocker on N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors. It produces wake promotion and insomnia in AD patients. However, a few studies showed that memantine increases the total awake time and reduces total sleep time. 

Does memantine slow down dementia?

Medications containing the drug memantine are supposed to help people who have Alzheimer’s disease remember things and better manage their daily tasks. Studies show that memantine can somewhat delay the worsening of cognitive mental performance.

Is memantine for long-term use?

Furthermore, most of the currently reported RCTs are short-term, with the longest study lasting only up to 28 weeks; thus the true long-term efficacy of memantine for a slowly progressive disease such as AD remains to be confirmed.

Can memantine cause more confusion?

Thus, although agitation is a memantine-associated adverse effect, memantine treatment may also reduce agitation and other behavioral disturbances.

Is it better to take memantine in the morning or at night?

You can take memantine at whatever time of day you find easiest to remember, but try to take your doses at the same time of day each day. It can be taken either with or without food.

1) https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Memantine-hydrochloride
2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK500025/
3) https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa013128?url_ver=Z39.88-2003&rfr_id=ori:rid:crossref.org&rfr_dat=cr_pub%3dwww.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16034889
5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3647634/
6) https://www.hindawi.com/journals/crips/2012/749796/
7) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28222534/
8)https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31630042/#:~:text=We%20found%20that%2020%20mg,for%20moderate%20to%20severe%20OCD.

Kartik Kumar Rathi

Kartik is a Doctor in training currently in his second year of medical school with the ultimate goal of becoming a successful cardiologist, he currently contributes to health blogs, research papers and also founded a social health startup to help educate others.

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